Buncee has been a favorite tool in my classroom for the past couple of years. Over this time, we have seen a lot of great updates and new features continually added to Buncee and have enjoyed creating and coming up with new ideas of ways to use Buncee for learning.
My students have used Buncee to create presentations for project-based learning, to tell about their family or daily routine, talk about foods, to teach a lesson on augmented and virtual reality, or even just to create some “about me” Buncees to share with classmates as well as their global peers. We've tried a lot of different ways for using Buncee in the classroom, many of which have been a result of the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking from the students.
AUTHENTIC CREATIONS WITH BUNCEE
We get especially excited when we log in to Buncee and see a library full of new choices in stickers, animations, emojis and most recently, the templates. As a teacher of foreign languages and also an eighth-grade STEAM course, I want students to create something authentic, and I want them to feel like they are creating something meaningful, that goes beyond just creating a project for a class. Buncee allows us to work with other teachers and have our students engage in cross-curricular projects. Students are able to explore through project-based learning or in the STEAM course, giving them the opportunity to add in personal interests and explore resources available. This helps students find something that is more meaningful for them, that will amplify their learning.
WHY WE USE BUNCEE
Buncee really is a versatile tool that is full of choices and can be used by anyone. One thing that I often hear educators say is that it's hard to find enough time to learn about the different tools out there and to roll them out in the classroom.
Here are some top concerns when contemplating adding a new tool to the stack:
- Will there be a learning curve with the tool?
- Is it appropriate for students?
- Is it accessible on different devices?
- Will students will feel comfortable getting started?
Many times I'm asked to recommend one tool for teachers to use for presentations, interactive lessons, blended or flipped learning instruction, or even beginning of the year activities. Educators want to use tools that promote student choice and student's voice and offer more than just one purpose. We want students to have personalized and authentic learning experiences and with all that it offers and continues to add, I am very comfortable recommending Buncee.
Regardless of what you want to create, there are more than enough choices for what to add into your multimedia presentation. Students (and anyone) can quickly create a multimedia presentation full of:
- 360 images
- audio and video embedded
- and even student artwork!
CREATIVITY MADE EASY
When Buncee added hundreds of templates it made creating even more personal and fun, and definitely gave the designer more time to create within the template, rather than working from a blank canvas.
The bookmarks and social messages templates are what initially caught my eye. They include famous quotes from the likes of Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, and Albert Einstein directly on the templates... I’ve always been a big fan of quotes, so much in fact that I’m currently writing a book called In Other Words: Rethinking Education Through Quotes that is focused on, you guessed it, quotes. The new Buncee Templates inspired me to design my own Buncees with quotes I have chosen. These are quotes that have led me to think differently about education, and Buncee allows me to show them visually.
I never considered myself to be very creative, but being able to see an “end product” and then get a quick start by adding in my own details and changing the quote, made a huge difference. With a background already in place, it was easy to think about the quote and select other items to add into what was already there, to truly personalize it and make it my own.
Students can create bookmarks for their favorite books, or share a quote, adding in fun characters, different fonts or anything!
GREAT IDEA #1
A great way to have students represent what they are reading about is to have them to create a bookmark in Buncee which tells the story, or at least part of the story. The goal is to have students engage in more authentic learning and how they show their learning.
An activity like this pushes students to think critically about what and how they are creating, they will become more engaged in reading, and it will lead to a more meaningful and authentic representation of their learning.
GREAT IDEA #2
Another step is to have students share their bookmarks with classmates. This allows students to see other ways their peers have interpreted the narrative, leading to more class communication and collaboration. This activity can be done in many different courses, as it is a great way to summarize the key points of something they learned.
Social Media Messages: #Quotes4EDU and #Future4EDU
A few months ago, I created some graphics for the book launch of uNforgettable by Chuck Poole. I shared them on Twitter and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Creating them in Buncee was easy and I liked the way the graphic captured the quotes, so I decided to start creating my own by using the new templates as my starting point.
As I am currently in the process of writing my book focused on quotes and their impact on my thinking, and how others have used them for inspiration and motivation, I wanted to bring the quotes to life and go beyond simply sharing them in my book. So I use Buncee Templates to share these inspirational quotes across social media platforms, to spread some positivity. See my Buncee Board with some examples.
When students have the same opportunity to decide on a template, they can find what they need to be creative, communicate ideas, and think critically about the work they are doing, while enjoying the creation process. Designing social media messages, bookmarks, cards, flyers and more promotes student engagement because they can create something that is authentic and meaningful to them. And in doing this, it enables us, the educators, to continue learning more about our students and develop those critical relationships in our classroom.
Getting started is easy!
- Log in to Buncee.
- When prompted by the pop-up box, select create in V3 so you can access all of the cool templates.
- Decide what you want to create: A bookmark? A classroom sign? An invitation? Or just make signs with quotes for your classroom. Regardless of what you’re creating, there’s a template for you.
- Select the template that catches your eye, and start creating! Personalize it by adding fun stickers, animations, audio, shapes, et cetera.
A recent favorite of mine are the Buncee stickers that came from students of Mrs. Shannon Miller! Check them out in the library. It’s amazing to see really authentic student work added to Buncee that you can choose from.
When you select a Buncee Template, you can preview the different backgrounds that will be included within the template. You can easily change the font color and style, change the background color, and add more items such as stickers and animations to your Buncee. Creating with a template is perfect for anyone who wants to get started quickly, but does not have a lot of time to start from scratch. You can change anything within the template, it simply makes getting started easier and gives you more time to find fun animations, stickers, emojis and more to visually represent your learning.
Buncee Templates are also perfect if you don't have a lot of time in class, but want students to be able to create something unique and personal, giving a boost in confidence by having a great starting point that they can build upon.
Buncee is so invested in providing options and opportunities for students and educators to enjoy learning, creating and growing together. If you are looking for a versatile tool that gives students the opportunity to create and visually communicate their thoughts, who they are, share an idea or demonstrate learning, Buncee has everything they need to create in a safe digital space and to find what they need. As Michael Cohen, TheTechRabbi stated, “Creativity is not something you get, it’s something you reveal.” See the creativity come through your student work and even your own. Have fun creating!
Rachelle Dene Poth is a Spanish and STEAM teacher at Riverview High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also an attorney and has a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is the President for the ISTE Teacher Education Network and Communications Chair for the Mobile Learning Network. In 2017 she was selected for Outstanding Teacher of the Year by PAECT and by NSBA as one of "20 to watch" educators. Rachelle is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, a Google Certified Educator Level II, a Nearpod PioNear, Ambassador for Buncee. She is an author and has written chapters in of “Snapshot in Education 2016” and 2017, on Project Based Learning and Blended Learning. Rachelle also wrote Chapter 6 of the book “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE as well as a chapter in the book “Stories in EDU.” She is currently writing three books on education and technology that will be published in early 2019. Connect with her on Twitter at @Rdene915.